Having been a mechanic for 25 years, Don was troubled with hand flexibility issues that made it hard to continue playing his 34” 4-string bass. He was looking for a short scale bass that would still sound like a long scale and would be comfortable and lightweight enough to play from his favorite chair. We talked about how to customize a bass that would fit his needs.
Lesquire Body and Conversion Neck
He wanted the look and size of a Les Paul Jr., so I suggested my Lesquire shaped body that I had used on some previous T-style guitars, and we chose swamp ash wood to cut down on weight. I set up the bass with a 30” conversion neck, which would fit a standard bass neck pocket and bridge positioning.
Swamp Ash, Rutters Bridge and Lawrence Pickups
The snappy tone of the swamp ash and the quick attack of a maple neck would combat the concern of getting a muddy bottom end. He would get a nice, clear sound with the custom Rutters bridge I had chosen and obtain clarity and brightness with Lawrence pickups, which coincidentally fit the request for his favorite P/J setup. Don’s finished bass played with the even and full long scale sound he desired.
Short Scale Bass Solutions
The solution of a short scale bass alleviated Don’s limited flexibility, but there are other problems these basses can resolve. Not only is a short scale bass ideal for bassists with smaller hands, but also they help guitar players experience a natural, comfortable transition when switching between the guitar and bass.